Maria is currently working part-time as Project Assistant, working closely with Dr. Phyllis May-Machunda and the team building the Notable Folklorist of Color Exhibit that highlights scholars of color who significantly contributed to research in folklore studies. These scholars of color laid a foundation for folklore scholarship by people of color in communities of color. She also serves on the AFS Cultural Diversity Committee.
Maria is a native of Horse Cave, Kentucky. She is a graduate of Western Kentucky University with a Bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) with an emphasis in Organization and Communication of Ideas and studied folklore in Western Kentucky University’s Folk Studies Master’s program. She also completed the Community Scholars Program through The Kentucky Arts Council and The Kentucky Folklife Program. Maria worked as a library assistant for 14 years at Western Kentucky University Libraries’ Helm-Cravens and Special Collections. She is a board member of the African American Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Maria’s interests in folklore is African American Culture such as hair, clothing, music, and communities.